French Central Bank : Protests Cut 4Q Growth by as Much as 0.1 Percentage Points

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01/15/2020 | 12:26 pm


By Maria Martinez



Protests against French President Emmanuel Macron's pensions reform could cost the country up to 0.1 percentage points in gross-domestic-product growth in the fourth quarter, France's Central Bank Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said Wednesday.



"This effect is already included in our 0.2% growth forecast for the fourth quarter," Mr. Villeroy said. He didn't comment on the potential impact of the protests to the French economy in 2020.



The forecasts of the Banque de France are based in the monthly surveys of economic conditions for businesses.



According to Mr. Villaroy, there was a moment during the "yellow vests" protests earlier in 2019 when 20% of companies said they were affected by unrest. However, only 10% of firms, mainly in the hotel, restaurant and transportation sectors, say they are hit by protests today.



"These limited macroeconomic figures cover different effects for regions, sectors or companies, and they don't diminish the real difficulties undergone by million of citizens, workers and businesses," Mr. Villeroy said.



Since the protests started, retailers, hotels and restaurants in Paris said their activity fell, according to Mr. Villeroy.



The French Central Bank confirmed last week its growth forecast of 1.3% for 2019 and 1.1% for 2020.





This story was translated in whole or in part from a French-language version initially published by L'Agefi-Dow Jones.





Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com





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